Fab Fit Fun!

 

My friend recently introduced me to FabFitFun and I am loving it! It is a subscription based box that includes full size beauty, wellness and fashion items that is sent four times a year with each season. I signed up as a member and my first box I received was the Winter box. Some of the highlights for me include the BB Dakota Poncho, 8 OTHER REASONS Nine Lives Choker and my adorable new mug that I use every day for tea.

The retail value of my first box is $388 and it cost me $49.95! I love the variety and quality of the goodies. Not to mention how much I look forward to receiving my box and unpacking it. I loved it so much I purchased the Editors box which I am loving as well.

If FabFitFun is something you are excited to try you can use the code WELCOME10 to get $10.00 off your first box. Click this link to receive your discount; WELCOME . It is just in time for the Spring Box which is coming soon! Let me know in the comments below if you have tried Fab fit fun and what your favorite items are!

My Natural Beauty Product Pick of the Month!

 

I just learned about Astoria Naturals and am in love with their unique concept! This brand customizes skin and body care to meet your individual skin condition. I love that I can pick what is best for my skin based on what my skin needs. My skin needs are different from time to time and change with the season so I love the ability to customize. Plus they combine two of my favorite things, pure natural products and results!

I was sampled the body lotion and body wash. I love how invigorating the blend that was customized for me is and the body lotion is extra moisturizing which is what I need in this dry weather. With ingredients like Shea butter and sweet almond oil as a base for the lotion it goes on really buttery and has protected my skin. My skin can get so dry my hands start to crack around this time of year and this lotion has helped tremendously. The essential oil blends help make the product fragrant as well as the added benefits they offer. Plus they even have Autumn blends which sound amazing such as Orange, Cinnamon, Clove and Vanilla. YUM!

Astoria Naturals does not use parabens, SLS’s and is never tested on animals. You can read more about their story and other products here Austoria Naturals. I love the high quality ingredients and care put into the products and love the price point as well. They offer free shipping with a $40.00 dollar purchase to boot. Check them out at:

http://www.astorianaturals.com

Time to Start Saving Money on Healthy Foods!

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I recently signed up for a free trial with Thrive Market and am loving it! If you haven’t yet heard of Thrive Online Market, it is a new website that offers high quality, non-gmo and super healthy products at a discount. They have products ranging from food pantry items, green cleaning and beauty supplies to baby items all offered at a 25-50% off discount! How it works is they offer a membership, like a Costco card, you pay annually and then you are able to purchase directly through Thrive and have items delivered to you.

One thing I love about Thrive is the mission to make healthy living, food and personal care accessible to everyone. They even donate a membership to a low income family for each membership sold. Super awesome.

So far I have purchased, hand soaps, cleaning supplies and lots of food items. If you purchase over 49.00 your order ships free. The great thing is you can try it out for free before you commit to a membership, I have already saved a lot on items I would normally be buying at the health food store. And I love when my food arrives on my doorstep, so convenient! Click here to check out the store and start a free trial (affiliate link).  Happy shopping!

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New Dedorant is Here!

Simply Jess Skin Care has a new product to announce! The Coco-Mango Deodorant is now available for purchase in my Etsy Store, Simply Jess Skin Care. Below I touch upon why I personally switched to a natural deodorant, why I created one myself and what makes my deodorant different.

What is a deodorant vs. an antiperspirant?

Many people know by now why it is important to use a more natural deodorant vs. an antiperspirant and what the difference is. Antiperspirants are designed to decrease sweating through the use of aluminum based ingredients that are absorbed into the skin. The FDA requires that antiperspirants decrease sweat by 20%, so it doesn’t completely stop the process. Of course the higher the aluminum the more the sweat will decrease and the more you are exposed to toxic material under your arms and close to the lymph nodes.

Deodorants on the other hand are designed to help block odor primarily and can help absorb wetness to an extent. Because sweating mixed with the bacteria under your arms causes the odor, they are designed to kill bacteria so the odor problem does not occur. Usually they do not contain aluminum based ingredients, however they may contain alcohol, artificial fragrance, even antibiotics.

Are antiperspirants dangerous?

There is much debate about this question currently. Many people have claimed that the use of antiperspirants contributes to cancer. While there hasn’t been an official government warning against these ingredients and cancer specifically,  there are many studies out there linking the dangers of applying these materials so close to the lymph nodes, especially in regard to breast cancer. Even the FDA admits the aluminum in these products are absorbed into the skin (one of the reasons I stopped using this type of product), and I have never seen a study stating what levels ARE considered safe. And did you know the yellowing/staining effect you see on your clothes are due to the aluminum in the antiperspirant?

My experience

I have always hated to sweat, in fact I refused to get married in the summer months for fear of sweating! In the past I used a strong antiperspirant daily and even kept a secret stash in my car. This particular product I used used Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex at 15.40% as the active ingredient with a bunch of other undesirable ingredients. It would work but then as the day went on I would start to sweat like crazy. I thought it was just how my body worked.

After learning about deodorant and why it was a good idea to ditch the potentially harmful ingredients I decided to throw away my precious stick and try it out. For the first week and a half I was sweating like crazy, I really thought it isn’t going to work! But then my body started to regulate and the weirdest thing happened, I started to sweat less than I ever had. I think that while I was wearing the antiperspirant, my body was not able to expel sweat, which is a natural and crucial function of the body, and that was causing the excess sweating. It is what helps us detoxify. Every time the product wore off I would just sweat like crazy until I would reapply it and then start the unnatural cycle over again. I realized my body does sweat but not as much as before and the more I wore the natural stuff the more I regulated, which was awesome!

I started to use natural deodorants I would buy at the health food store and I found a few I liked. But I realized that even the natural sticks had very unnatural ingredients. That is when I decided this would be my new project, when I say it is natural, it really is.

Simply Jess Coco-Mango Deodorant

My new deodorant helps kill bacteria causing odors and minimizes sweat while letting your body’s natural detoxification process work. It helps absorb excess perspiration thanks to natural ingredients such as Kaolin Clay.

The solid stick easily rolls on with a creamy finish due to luxurious Shea and Mango butters and Coconut Oil. It maintains a beautiful yet subtle fragrance through the use of pure essential oils such as Palmarosa and Lavender, both known for their antibacterial and antiseptic qualities.

I worked together with a chemist who specializes in creating natural body products to create a deodorant that has pure and natural ingredients and actually works. I hand make each stick and use the highest quality ingredients and it is also safe for sensitive skin. If you are used to the antiperspirants, give it a try and give it some time. It took me a week and a half to get used to it. For my friends who already like the natural tubes, let me know how this one compares. You can check out my Etsy Store to find out more details on my Coco-Mango Deodorant here.

Thank you for supporting Simply Jess!

 

 

Argan Oil by Josie Maran

 

As I am transitioning to pure ingredients in every area of my life, I am constantly searching for natural lines that use quality ingredients. As I learned more about the Josie Maran Cosmetics line I was excited to try it out. The sourced ingredients I read about such as Argan Oil, Coconut Oil, Mango seed butter and more, are the type of natural yet effective ingredients I like to put on my skin.

I recently tried the 100% Pure Argan Oil and love it. It is extremely versatile with uses ranging from a daily facial serum or moisturizer to dry nail beds and hair. Although it is an oil, it is silky and easily absorbed, not greasy whatsoever. The best part is it is 100% organic! Since my entire body is terribly dry right now with this weather I have tried this oil all over and love the texture and hydrating effect.

I also love the simple and Eco-friendly packaging.  You can tell this company has great pride in taking care of the environment and giving back, which you can read about on their website. The product packaging is recyclable and containers are biodegradable. Josie Maran’s motto for her brand is “Luxury With A Conscience.” Love it! 

I can’t wait to try the cosmetics and color from this line, I will be sure to share what I try out!

Coconut Obsessed!

Super Hydrating Body Wash

I have to admit I am a little coconut obsessed. I drink coconut water and milk, cook with coconut oil and love coconut desserts. After learning about some of the many benefits it has to offer it makes coconut taste even better! Many people have begun to use Coconut Oil topically for all of the medicinal and healing properties it offers, there are literally hundreds of benefits with this truly amazing oil. Both topically and internally.

So when I saw the Everyday Coconut Super Hydrating Body Wash I was gitty to say the least. I have tried and reviewed other products from the Everyday Shea Line which are of excellent quality. The company does not use Parabens, harsh Sulfates, artificial fragrance and never tests on Animals. Alaffia gives back to the community in which they derive their pure ingredients from, making it a company I love to personally support. Check out the link to learn more about this program: Empowerment

The Super Hydrating Body Wash is best for Normal to Drier skin types because of the nourishing properties and feel. The coffee berry extract helps protect the skin with its high antioxidant value and the coconut is rich essential amino acids and minerals. Even if you don’t love the smell of coconut you can use this body wash because there is no fake scents, it is completely natural.

If you want to learn more about Coconut Oil and different cool uses for it, check out Make Coconut Not Fat they are even more obsessed than me.

I gotta run, time to make my Coconut Flour Pizza Crust.

 

 

Honest Company

 

For the first year of my sons life I had him in cloth diapers. Cloth diapers have come a long way since the days I was in them as a child. They are cute, easy to use and do not require a diaper service (although I wouldn’t have minded that!).  After the first year it became more and more difficult for me to use and I decided to switch to disposables entirely for the ease and convenience.  I noticed my son’s bum getting red and irritated after making the switch and although he has always had sensitive skin, it was really starting to bother me.

I was introduced to the Honest Company founded by Jessica Alba and became instantly excited! Here was a more natural diaper that was good for the environment and I couldn’t wait to give it a try. I started with a free trial and received my diapers right away. The customer service was outstanding and I was just crossing my fingers that they actually worked.

Description of the diapers from the Honest Company:

  • Naturally biodegradable & pure plant-based PLA in the inner & outer sheet (NO petrochemicals/oil)
  • Bio-based wheat / corn super-absorbent materials blended with reduced SAP gel
  • Choose from a growing selection of modern & fashionable design options for your girl or boy
  • Secure moisture barrier cuffs to prevent leakage or blowouts
  • Comfortable stretchy, re-fastenable grip tabs
  • Contoured fit & non-irritating feel for the most sensitive skin
  • Premium fit & performance, completely safe, and super-cute designs – definitely not your standard white diaper

I can honestly say I loved them after the first one we used. My sons red, rashy bum has cleared up as well. And not that this had ANY pull in my decision to buy the diapers (well, maybe just a little) the designs are simply adorable, my favorite being the skull and crossbones pattern.

I love that I get these diapers delivered to my door and they even come with free wipes. They are more pricy than the alternative standard diaper but I am loving the results and it is worth it to us. If your kiddo is experiencing any negative skin reactions you might want to give this a try! I can’t wait to test more of the essentials line which includes items such as bath gel and sun protection to cleaning products. Finally a diaper that I feel GOOD about!

You can read more about the company and the terrific products they are making on the Honest Company Website.

Anchors pattern for Honest Diapers

 

Everyday Shea Body Wash

 

After using and loving the Everyday Shea Body Lotion, I decided to try another product from the line, this time for my little.  The Shea Butter Shampoo & Body Wash has super pure ingredients which are calming and soothing. Young children have especially delicate skin and it is important to try and avoid harsh cleansing agents, fragrances and too many preservatives.

Everyday Shea does not use parabens, synthetic fragrance and is cruelty-free. Click here to read about the ways in which this company is supporting the community in Africa. Next on my list from the product brand is the Conditioner/DeTangler since my little guy has got mama’s crazy curly hair! Not to worry, it’s MUCH cuter on him! I’ll report back on this one too.

Everyday Shea Body Lotion

 

Shea butter has been used for centuries in the world of skin care. It has healing benefits for the skin and is deeply hydrating. I tried the Everyday Shea Body Lotion in Vanilla for the first time and I loved it. The Shea butter used in this product is unrefined Shea butter derived from Africa which is known to be more nutritious for the skin.

I love the 32 ounce size and for only $13.99 it is a great value! I sit this bottle with the big pump on my night stand so I can moisturize away. I chose one of my favorite scents, Vanilla, it also comes unscented and Lavender. Check out the company website to learn more about the products and the empowerment programs they support for the people of Africa.

 

Circulation and the Skin

It was interesting for me to learn that having poor circulation can effect the skin in a negative way. It can trigger puffiness and even acne to appear in the face and body. I used to have poor circulation and some of my side effects included leg cramping and low body temperatures. I am the person walking around the plane a bunch of times during a long flight. (Wish I knew about compression socks when I was flying for business!)

Below I will highlight a few helpful ways to reduce poor circulation so we can keep our skin looking its best.

1. Exercise

Pretty obvious we need to keep the blood flowing and this is a great way to do it. Choose your favorite exercise or try something new to get you excited like taking a new class at the gym. I love to work out at home when I don’t have time to get to the gym or take a long walk- it’s all good.

2. Eat Some Garlic

Diet has been linked to circulation issues. Certain fruits and vegetables have been known to boost blood and improve circulation (like Garlic) while other processed foods have been known to thin the blood. Talk to your doc or see a nutritionist to learn more.

3. Go Natural

Alternative therapies are being utilized more and more to treat this problem. Treatments such as acupuncture, massage therapy and reflexology have been reported to help. I’m in!

So I guess eating healthy, exercising and receiving relaxing body therapies are helpful…hmmmm I am noticing a theme here.